Welcome to Day 6 of my 21 Day Blogoversary and Birthday Bash
Today I have a review and giveaway of Keeper by Kathi Appelt.
Keeper is a breathtaking, magical novel from National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt.
To ten-year-old Keeper the moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong ... and so much has gone wrong.
But she knows who can make things right again: Maggie Marie, her mermaid mother, who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gather at the sandbar, and that's exactly where Keeper is headed - in a small boat. In the middle of the night, with only her dog, BD (Best Dog), and seagull named Captain. When the riptide pulls at the boat, tugging her away from the shore and deep into the rough waters of the Gulf of Mexico, panic sets in and the fairy tales that lured her out there go tumbling into the waves. Maybe the blue moon won't sparkle with mermaids and maybe - Oh, no ... "Maybe" is just to difficult to bear. (Publisher's summary from Powell's Books)
Keeper is one of those books that wraps around your heart, pulls you close and keeps a strong hold on you even after you’ve read the very last page. As the publisher’s summary clearly states this book is a “breathtaking, magical novel."
It has been a while since I read a book that uses third person omniscient, and Appelt’s use of this POV is one of the main reasons that the story holds such a magical feel to it. With such a small and varied cast of characters, Appelt gives the reader a chance to be inside each of their heads, and what really appealed to me was the fact various aspects of the story were unfolded through the thoughts of a dog, a cat, and a seagull.
Another unforgettable element of this book is the setting. It was a little world unto its own. Keeper, lives with Signe on a small beach. Her neighbors consist of Dogie, who runs a surf board rental, where Keeper earns money sanding and waxing the boards, and Mr. Beauchamp, and elderly gent, who craves mermaids about of driftwood Keeper finds on the beach. This close community has kept tabs on Keeper ever since her mother disappeared into the water one night, which is why Keeper, who believes her mother is a mermaid.
The conflict is also greatly influenced by the setting. The story opens with Signe preparing her famous gumbo, which can only be made during a Blue Moon. However, when the crabs destined to become the main ingredient for the gumbo, begin talking to Keeper and she frees them, she inadvertently sets off a chain of events. In her quest to make things right, Keeper goes in search for Yemaya, queen of the merfolk, hoping that she will grant her a wish: to make everything that went wrong right again.
Keeper is such a wonderfully drawn character. She is the epitome of innocence and that childhood essences that all of us once had. Her belief in the magic of the sea is as strong as my childhood belief in Santa Clause, and while as I reader, I cringed at Keeper’s plan to sail out into the ocean, knowing all too well how dangerous it was, I also applauded Keeper’s motivations and conviction.
Appelt’s beautiful prose brings this whimsical story to life. It is a grand mix of mythology and fantasy reminiscent of a fairy tale, but with depth of character that neither a myth or a fairy tale usually produces. This is definitely a book I will be recommending for my middle school students, and to any audience who enjoy revisiting those childhood dreams about making impossible things possible.Source: Received book from publisher for review
For a chance to win Keeper leave a comment and tell me a childhood fantasy you had and fill out this form.
Don't forget to check out day 1-5 here for a chance to win other great books.